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Birchat HaChodesh: A Life Without Shame

In the blessing for the new month, which we recite on the Shabbat preceding Rosh Chodesh, we describe the kind of life we ask God to bless us with. One of the qualities of life we pray for is “a life without shame and humiliation”.

If someone has natural imperfections of which he is embarrassed, it is one thing. But life, which is defined by a person’s choices, should be a life without shame and humiliation. It should be a life aimed towards perfection, through which one can be glorified. (Rav Kook, Siddur Olat Rayah)

The key point of the blessing for the new month is renewal. As we ask God to renew all His blessings for us, we must reaffirm our focus. When we speak of life, we understand that we are referring to our function as human beings; as people who have free-choice. Therefore, when we ask for a life devoid of shame, we are alluding to the existence we are shaping by our conscious decisions.

We often get caught up by the way others perceive us. This is the time to ask ourselves: What type of things am I embarrassed of? To whom do I tend to give the power to shame me? Is my humiliation usually caused by superficial factors?

What am I praying for here? By answering this question, I am outlining the essence and direction of my life.  

A life without shame. A life where my choices reflect the goals I want God to help me reach. A life where things that don’t matter will fail to cause me embarrassment. 
Please, God, this month, let me live a life by which I merit to bring You glory.

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